vul·​ture | \ ˈvəl-chər How to pronounce vulture (audio) \

Definition of vulture

1 : any of various large birds (families Accipitridae and Cathartidae) that are related to the hawks, eagles, and falcons but have weaker claws and the head usually naked and that subsist chiefly or entirely on carrion
2 : a rapacious or predatory person

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Other Words from vulture

vulturish \ ˈvəl-​chə-​rish How to pronounce vulturish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for vulture


bloodsucker, buzzard, harpy, kite, predator, shark, vampire, wolf



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Examples of vulture in a Sentence

As soon as they learned of his arrest, the media vultures started circling. noted that the paparazzi are vultures who could not exist without the connivance of the tabloid-buying public

Recent Examples on the Web

Daniel Craig plays the wily detective brought in to untangle the truth in Rian Johnson's old-fashioned all-star whodunit, as the family of Christopher Plummer's famed mystery writer circle like vultures. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Knives Out': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 Li Yonghong soon lost the club to a vulture fund (long story) and now Milan have been banned from the Europa League this season for breaching FFP., "André Silva & 6 Other Strikers Who Flopped at AC Milan," 22 July 2019 Speculation as to where the many vultures came from was rampant online., "Wake of vultures: Numerous birds of prey create minor traffic issues, feast on carcass," 27 Aug. 2019 Neighbors have complained that the vultures are present because one resident insists on feeding them, causing them to return, the Post reported. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Vomiting vultures invade Florida home, refuse to leave: report," 21 Aug. 2019 Deep within the Baronnies Provençales natural park, where rare species such as the black vulture can now occasionally be spotted above higher peaks, things are not quite that simple. The Economist, "Why France’s forests are getting bigger," 18 July 2019 Predators of the Nubian Ibex include leopards, eagles and bearded vultures, according to the San Diego Zoo. Fox News, "Spot the mountain goats: Cool photo captures camouflaged Ibex herd in Israel's Negev desert," 24 July 2019 Unleash your inner culture vulture at one of these arts-immersive hotels. Elycia Rubin,, "Wake up next to a masterpiece at an art-centric hotel," 28 June 2019 Lead poisoning is a serious problem for raptors that scavenge on dead animals, such as golden and bald eagles, as well as vultures. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "This lead-poisoned eagle miraculously recovered. Most aren’t so lucky," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vulture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vulture

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vulture

Middle English vultur, from Anglo-French, from Latin

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Statistics for vulture

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for vulture

The first known use of vulture was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of vulture

: any one of several large birds that eat dead animals and have a small and featherless head
disapproving : a person who tries to take advantage of someone who is in a very bad situation


vul·​ture | \ ˈvəl-chər How to pronounce vulture (audio) \

Kids Definition of vulture

: a large bird related to the hawks and eagles that has a head bare of feathers and feeds mostly on dead animals

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Comments on vulture

What made you want to look up vulture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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